Jenks back on track
Bobby Jenks does not want to rehash the pain he went through during the past week while dealing with kidney stones. And when you think about it, who can blame him?
“We are talking baseball,” said Jenks, politely but directly with a smile, when asked after Saturday’s 8-5 victory over the Indians, during which he recorded the final two outs, to describe what this last week was like for him.
But here’s the important piece of information to come out of Saturday’s solid performance by one of the game’s best closers, aside from the fact that he’s pitching at 80 or 90 percent healthy. This kidney stone issue began while the White Sox were on their seven game road trip to Detroit and Minneapolis and messed with his mechanics, which could account, in part, for his recent mound woes. That problem was resolved through the passing of one and a procedure to blast the other one away.
“Before when I was having pains, I was off mechanically,” Jenks said. “Now, I’m sound again and healthy. My alignment is right and everything is going toward the plate.
“It carried in here to when we got home. It started three or four outings when I noticed all the back pain. I just associated it with pitching. I didn’t know the difference at the time. Looking back, I can put one and one together. At the time, it was throwing me off a little bit.”
Having Jenks healthy and fresh becomes just another important piece the White Sox need down the stretch to overtake Detroit and hold off Minnesota.
–Here’s a little bit more from Williams on the waiver process and claiming players.
“You’d be hard pressed to find good players that teams put claims on that are just let go for no compensation,” Williams said. “I’m not confirming or denying any interest or any claims or anything, but if these things get out on a daily basis, boy, it’s going to be a heck of an August around here in terms of how many players you claim and how many you don’t claim. It will make your head spin if you follow each report.
“A lot of players get claimed every day. Why is this a big deal?”
Williams was asked about adding a pitcher, such as John Smoltz, who was designated for assignment by Boston this week. But he likes what already is in place for the starting rotation, not to mention Jake Peavy’s arrival at the end of August.
“John Smoltz is one of the best pitchers in baseball history,” Williams said. “He certainly deserves the respect to take a look at, but I’m very cognizant of the makeup we have now and the team chemistry we have now, aside from A.J. (Pierzynski), we’re pretty good.”
That team chemistry idea, with everyone pulling from the same rope, might leave the roster intact as it is now.
“The only thing we need? Quit making errors,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen with a laugh.